Mugabe clocks 220 000km flying

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe, a serial traveller now dubbed “Visiting Leader” by some of his political detractors, is expected to embark on another long overseas sojourn this week — this time to the United States for a summit on Ebola — as the nonagenarian continues to break national flying records in terms of total mileage travelled.

Observers pointed out last night that by the time Mugabe returns from New York, he would have completed more than 22 trips abroad since the beginning of the year, having travelled more than 220 000 kilometres during this short period — far more than many other leaders will manage throughout their tenures in power.

His political detractors also say that the nonagenarian’s “useless” travels are needlessly gobbling up millions of dollars per trip, at a time that government coffers are dry due to his administration’s gross mismanagement of the economy and the corruption of his lieutenants.

It has been said that each time Mugabe travels, such a single trip blows up more than $2 million, through the “hiring” of an Air Zimbabwe plane, as well as “allowances” for him and the large entourages that accompany him.

Because of the pending New York trip, a destination that is in the belly of some of Mugabe’s fiercest critics on account of Zimbabwe’s poor human rights record, the USA,  this week’s Cabinet meeting has been pushed to today instead of the usual Tuesday.

Unfazed by growing criticism by Zimbabweans about his costly travels, the president will be leaving for New York — after spending less than 48 hours in the country — having returned from South Africa at the weekend where he attended a summit on the Lesotho crisis.

Mugabe’s trip to South Africa last week meant that he has now been to Pretoria four times over the past six months alone.

Government officials refused to confirm to the Daily News when and whether Mugabe was travelling to the US, with presidential spokesperson George Charamba claiming that he had not heard anything about his boss’s scheduled trip.

“I didn’t hear that. Go back to the person who told you,” Charamba said curtly.

Since the beginning of the year, Mugabe who is also the ceremonial chairperson of both Sadc and the African Union (AU), has spent more time in the air or in foreign lands than he has done in his own country, which is faced with mounting political and economic problems.

Mugabe’s frequent jaunts, whose benefits are still to be seen, have gobbled up millions of dollars, with the United States Department of State recently recommending that Mugabe’s budget be made public in the department’s recent fiscal transparency report.

Comments (15)

hamuna chamunomirira chimechete hama dzangu. president vakange vari munyika ino yedu imi moti hatidi kuti vange varimuno. kana vakafamba imi moti vafambirei. saka chii chaicho chamunoda mazimba. basa rekungo shoropodza mutungamiriri wenyu hamunyari here? yes he may have contributed to the suffering in our country but we also have a share of the blame. we seem to be a people that is very hard to please.

taurai - 6 July 2015

Taurai, ukwane mfana. Mbanje dzamunofumira idzi dzinopaza brain! See now you are just a zombi, devoid of content and character!

jojo - 6 July 2015

How the story changes from bob's trips to matiza-kasukuwere issues is just confusing. Apa daily news munogara muri behind kupublisher news on line. Kukundwa neherald rinogaro breaker news chop-chop!

SaManyika Chaiye - 7 July 2015

Ndine rimwe newe samanyika

jan - 7 July 2015

We offer an apology to our readers for joining two separate stories about the President's trips and another on Matiza-Kasukuwere issues on the story titled 'Mugabe clocks 220 000km flying.' It was an inadvertent error on our part that arose when our administrator was uploading the website. The burden is properly ours as a newspaper. We could dredge the very bottoms of our hearts, scrape every ounce of apology from it, and still not have an adequate expression of remorse—but we are trying. Part of our effort includes the recognition that this incident represents not only a personal failure on our front, but sloppiness that implicates our entire online staff. We have duly pulled down the other story. We sincerely apologise for the error.

News Editor - 7 July 2015

Sakai vorega kunotandara nevamwewo here?

tete - 7 July 2015

I respect those that apologise for their mistakes, sadly not many are prepared to do that.....

Den - 7 July 2015

Good piece of apology, let it roll guys we need the news

Walter - 7 July 2015

Good piece of apology, let it roll guys we need the news

Walter - 7 July 2015

Good piece of apology, let it roll guys we need the news

Walter - 7 July 2015

Those who are just talking about the President fyling,can one tell me exactly how he is expected to travel from one country to another and from continent to continent by ship and by road?This article is a high-yielding nonsense.Lets not be negative for nothing

carson macate - 7 July 2015

its seriously bad if not silly to spent such amounts of money on trips that do not bring bread and butter issues to zim.kutoendawozve nagire

statesman - 8 July 2015

A hunter will die from hunting and a fishermen will be dragged by a crocodile, so the Mugabes will one die die from one of these flying ventures simple. He is warned.

ananian - 8 July 2015

Mugabe doesn't need to attend every international conference. He could send a Min of Health (with less than 5 people delegation), this is an Ebola seminar for goodness sake. He has not adjusted his travels to what our purse can afford. This is no longer 1985!! Our economy has changed, he world has changed and his age dictates he stays at home. He has no value to bring this this new world!!

Zuze - 8 July 2015

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